Jeremy Clarkson will face a key meeting tomorrow that will help decide the fate of Diddly Squat Farm.

Viewers of Clarkson's Farm Season 2 will be more than aware of his long running planning disputes with West Oxfordshire District Council.

However, this appeal hearing will not form part of Season 3 as the Planning Inspector has banned filming in the council chamber.

The broadcaster is challenging both the council's refusal of planning permission to extend the Diddly Squat farm shop car park and the enforcement notice it issued for opening a restaurant without planning.


Restaurant appeal

Mr Clarkson opened his Diddly Squat Farm’s restaurant near Chadlington in July 2022.

The authority rejected planning permission for the restaurant, based in and around one of the farm's barns, in January but he proceeded to open a restaurant in his Lowland Barn in July, saying that he had found a "delightful little loophole" - thought to be permitted development rights.

WODC took action in August 2022 saying in its enforcement notice that the parking, toilets, traffic, along with the dining, installed by Clarkson’s farm is “visually intrusive and harmful” to the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“The unlawful use of Diddly Squat Farm by reason of its nature, scale and siting is unsustainable and incompatible with its open countryside location,” it stated.

READ ALSO: Jeremy Clarkson responds to parking chaos video

It then ordered the shutting of the restaurant or anything selling food that will be consumed on the farm and also ordered the removal of the dining tables, chairs, parasols, picnic tables, and mobile toilet.

In the enforcement notice, it said there should be no retail food sold that does not come from the farm, within 16-mile (25.7km) of the farm or that has been allowed by the council, and also said the converted barn, where the restaurant is housed, must be returned to its original state.

Agents working on behalf of Clarkson said they are not in breach of planning laws, claiming that the council’s decision is “excessive”.

The John Phillips Planning Consultancy write in their September 9 appeal against the enforcement notice that existing planning permission gives them the right to use the farm as a restaurant, and there has been no “material change” to the land.

The appeal adds that Diddly Squat’s sale of food and use of tables and chairs are all “lawful” and it would take longer than the six weeks that the council has given them to remove the items.


Car park appeal

In March 2022, the former Top Gear presenter reapplied for planning permission for a car park extension on his farm and a “new storage compound and associated landscaping”.

This was rejected in May 2022 by WODC, saying in its refusal reasons that due to its location, size and design the proposed development would “have a visually intrusive and harmful impact on the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquillity” of the area.

In a personal statement in support of the appeal, Mr Clarkson acknowledges the success of the TV show did create traffic problems in the area and he therefore applied for permission to create a parking area in an adjacent field.

"Incredibly, the local people objected to that too, so it was refused by WODC, without even getting to committee," he writes.

Oxfordshire County Council is currently considering stopping people parking on the road.

Mr Clarkson says: "If there was virtually no parking on the site and none at all on the road, I have no idea what would happen".

READ ALSO: Council brands Clarkson's Farm Season 2 'misleading'

He says with a third series of Clarkson's Farm commissioned "we expect people to continue arriving in great numbers".

"I do not think this is necessarily a bad thing. Because what’s the point of an AONB if people can’t come and look at it. And let’s not forget the shop is located right next to a caravan site and a short distance from a sizeable travellers’ camp.

"There are some beautiful spots in the Cotswolds but our shop most definitely isn’t in one of them."

He concludes: "Contrary to some of the claims being made, I do not want to turn Diddly Squat Farm into Disneyland. It is, after all, where I live. But we really do need on-site parking. It’s vital. And lavatories."

The hearing starts tomorrow at 10am at WODC's Woodgreen offices in Witney. Members of the public can attend.

The whole process from submission to decision should take around three months.


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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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